§ 8721 Monition method established.
In addition to all existing methods and authority for the collection of taxes due to the tax collecting authority, or former County Tax Collectors, or former Receivers of Taxes and County Treasurers of New Castle or Sussex Counties, the monition method and authority is established.
§ 8722 Praecipe; judgment; monition.
(a) The tax collecting authority may file a praecipe in the office of the prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for the county where the property is located.
(b) The praecipe shall contain the name of the person against whom the taxes sought to be collected were assessed, a copy of the bill or bills showing the amount of taxes due, and the property against which the taxes were assessed. The description of the property, as the same appears upon the assessment rolls of the county where the property is located, shall be a sufficient identification and description of the property. Thereupon the prothonotary shall make a record of the same on a special judgment docket of the Superior Court against the property mentioned or described in the praecipe which record shall consist of the following:
(1) The name of the person in whose name the assessment was made;
(2) The description of the property as the same shall appear upon the assessment rolls;
(3) The year or years for which the taxes are due and payable;
(4) The date of the filing of such praecipe;
(5) The amount of the judgment, the same being the amount set forth in the praecipe.
Such judgment shall be indexed in the judgment docket itself under the hundred in which the property is located as the location appears upon the assessment rolls so prepared, and under the hundred by communities where the name of the community appears upon the assessment rolls so prepared, and by referring to the page in the judgment docket whereon the record shall appear.
(c) Thereafter upon a praecipe for monition filed in the office of the prothonotary by the tax collecting authority, a monition shall be issued by the prothonotary to the sheriff of the county where the property is located, which monition shall briefly state the amount of the judgment for the taxes due and the years thereof, including accrued penalty thereon, together with a brief description of the property upon which the taxes are a lien. A description of the property as it appears upon the assessment rolls shall be sufficient.
(d) The tax collecting authority for New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties may initiate and complete the monitions process against any property designated by the authority as having an unknown owner for a continuous period in excess of 5 years. Notwithstanding that an investigation of chain of title to such property has not been performed, and notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, the taxing authority shall be exempted from any obligation expressed therein that cannot be satisfied due to the absence of a known owner, including but not limited to notification of sale to the record owner and provision of copies of bills showing amounts due.
Code 1935, § 1381A; 46 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8722; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25E; 60 Del. Laws, c. 675, §§ 2, 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 391, §§ 1, 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 120; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 115; 75 Del. Laws, c. 119, § 1.;
§ 8723 Form of monition.
The monition shall be in substantially the following form:
To all persons having or claiming to have any title, interest or lien upon the within described premises, take warning that unless the judgment for the taxes or assessment stated herein is paid within 20 days after the date hereof or within such period of 20 days, evidence of the payment of taxes herein claimed shall be filed in the office of the prothonotary, which evidence shall be in the form of a receipted tax bill or duplicate thereof, bearing date prior to the filing of the lien in the office of the prothonotary for the county where the property is located, the tax collecting authority may proceed to sell the property herein mentioned or described for the purpose of collecting the judgment for the taxes or assessments herein stated, including accrued penalties and all costs incurred in the collections process.
Name of person
in whose name Description Year Amount
property is of or of
assessed property Years Judgment
§ 8724 Posting of monition; sheriff's return; alias or pluries monition.
(a) The monition, or a copy thereof, shall be posted by the sheriff upon some prominent place or part of the property against which the judgment for the taxes or assessment is a lien, and the sheriff shall make due and proper return of his or her proceedings under the monition to the prothonotary, within 10 days after the posting of the monition.
(b) Alias or pluries monition may issue upon like praecipe. The posting of the notice as herein required shall constitute notice to the owner or owners and all persons having any interest in the property.
§ 8725 Issuance and form of writ of venditioni exponas.
(a) At any time after the expiration of 20 days following the return of the sheriff upon the monition, unless before the expiration of the 20 days the judgment and cost on the judgment shall be paid or evidence of the payment of such taxes evidenced by a receipted tax bill or a duplicate thereof bearing date therefor prior to the filing of the lien for record in the office of the prothonotary, upon application in writing by the tax collecting authority, a writ of venditioni exponas shall issue out of the office of the prothonotary directed to the sheriff commanding the sheriff to sell the property mentioned or described in the writ and make due return of such proceedings thereunder in the same manner as is now applicable with respect to similar writs of venditioni exponas issued out of the Superior Court. The property shall be described in the writ under the description thereof as it appears on the assessment rolls and by metes and bounds where obtainable, but nothing herein contained shall be construed to invalidate a writ or a sale pursuant thereto containing only the description as it appears on the assessment rolls or a writ bearing only a description by metes and bounds.
(b) The writ shall be substantially in the following form:
NEW CASTLE (KENT) (SUSSEX) COUNTY, SS.
The State of Delaware.
TO THE SHERIFF OF............. COUNTY,
WHEREAS, by a Monition issued out of the Superior Court dated at................, the........... day of....... A.D. 20...., IT WAS COMMANDED, that you should post the said Monition or copy thereof upon the real estate therein mentioned and described, and make a return to the said Superior Court within ten days after said posting.
That on the........... day of....... A.D. 20...., you returned that a copy of the said Monition was posted on the real estate therein mentioned and described on the........... day of....... A.D. 20.....
We therefore now command you to expose to public sale, the real estate mentioned and described in said Monition as follows:...... and that you should cause to be made as well a certain debt of....... Dollars ($....) lawful money of the United States, which to the said Department of Finance of New Castle (Sussex) County (Receiver of Taxes for Kent County), is due and owing, as also the sum of....... Dollars ($....) lawful money as aforesaid, for its costs, which it has sustained by the detaining of that debt, whereof the said........... was convicted as it appears of record and against which said property it is a lien:
And have you that money before the Judges of our Superior Court at..........., on Monday the....... day of Next, to render to the said Department of Finance of New Castle (Sussex) County (Receiver of Taxes for Kent County) as aforesaid, for its debt and costs as aforesaid, and this writ:
WITNESSETH, the Honorable................ at..........., the....... day of....... A.D. 20.....
(c) The description contained in such monition shall be a sufficient description of the real estate to be sold under such writ.
Code 1935, § 1381A; 46 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8725; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25G; 60 Del. Laws, c. 675, §§ 1, 2, 4, 5; 61 Del. Laws, c. 391, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 122.;
§ 8726 Sales subject to approval of Department of Finance or Chief County Financial Officer; prequalification of bidders.
(a) The department of finance or the chief county financial officer as designated by the county governing body may approve or disapprove the final bid at a sale made by the sheriff under this subchapter for any public purpose or reason, including the failure of the successful bidder or its affiliates to comply with the requirements of any law or regulation with respect to any other real property owned by such successful bidder or its affiliates, the failure of such successful bidder or its affiliates to timely pay any amounts owed to the State or any county or municipality or the inability of the successful bidder to remedy any unlawful conditions at the property subject to such sheriff sale in a timely manner; provided that the notice of the public sale includes that such sale is "subject to the approval of the department of finance or the chief county financial officer'' in the terms of sale. In the event the department of finance or the chief county financial officer does not approve the final bid at such sale, the said department of finance or chief county financial officer may expose the property to another and as many succeeding sales as it chooses.
(b) Provided that the notice of the public sale so indicates, the county governing body may require that bidders at a sheriff sale, prior to any bid, certify to the county governing body that such bidder, either directly or through any affiliated entities, does not own any interest in any real property in such county that:
(1) Has amounts past due identified in § 2901(a) of Title 25, in excess of $1,000; or
(2) Has been vacant for at least 18 consecutive months and such property is not subject to a valid building permit or a pending land use application.
Organizations that are exempt from federal taxation pursuant to § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)] and that have been building, rehabilitating, and providing affordable housing units within the State for at least 5 years, and community development corporations, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 9802, shall be exempt from these provisions upon certification of such status by the county.
(c) The county shall generate a certificate that the bidder shall present to the sheriff prior to the sale, and the sheriff shall require presentation of such certificate prior to registering any bidder. The county may establish a fee that reflects the costs of preparing and issuing the certificate that shall be paid by bidder prior to issuance of the certificate.
(d) For purposes of this section, "affiliated entity'' means either of the following:
(1) Any other entity that is under common control with the bidder.
(2) Any person or entity who directly or indirectly holds any beneficial or ownership interest in the bidder of 5% or greater.
(e) If a sale is subject to approval of the department of finance or the chief county financial officer, no assignment of a successful bid shall occur without the approval of the department of finance or the chief county financial officer. If the county requires certification of bidders at a sale, no assignment of a successful bid shall occur unless the assignee secures a certification from the county consistent with requirements of this section or qualifies as a land bank pursuant to § 4703 of Title 31.
§ 8727 Title of property sold.
Any real estate or interest therein sold under the provisions of this subchapter shall vest in the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the person in whose name the property was assessed, and/or all right, title and interest of the person or persons who are the owners thereof, and likewise freed and discharged from any liens and encumbrances, dower or curtesy or statutory right, in the nature of a dower or curtesy, whether absolute or inchoate, in or to the real estate.
§ 8728 Petition by purchasers for deed of conveyance.
If the owner of the property or the owner's legal representatives fail to redeem the property as provided in this subchapter, the purchaser of the property or the purchaser's legal representatives, successors or assigns may present a petition to the Superior Court setting forth the appropriate facts in conformity with this subchapter and pray that the Superior Court make an order directing the Sheriff, then in office, to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed conveying the title to the property to the petitioner; and thereupon the Superior Court shall have power, after a hearing upon the petition, to issue an order directing the Sheriff to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed as prayed for in the petition. A description of the property as the same shall appear upon the assessment rolls, and a description by metes and bounds where obtainable shall be a sufficient description in any such deed.
§ 8729 Redemption by owner.
The owner of any such real estate sold under this subchapter or the owner's legal representatives may redeem the same at any time within 60 days from the day the sale thereof is approved by the Court, by paying to the purchaser or his or her legal representatives, successors or assigns, the amount of the purchase price and 15 percent in addition thereto, together with all costs incurred in the cause; or if the purchaser or his or her legal representatives, successors or assigns refuse to receive the same, or do not reside or cannot be found within the county where the property is located, by paying the amount into the Court for the use of the purchaser, his or her legal representatives or assigns.
§ 8730 Petition by owner after redemption for entry on judgment record.
If the owner of any real estate sold under an order of sale or the owner's legal representative redeems the real estate, he or she may present to the Superior Court a petition setting forth that fact and thereupon the Superior Court, after hearing and determining the facts set forth in the petition, shall have power to cause to be entered upon the record of the judgment, under which the real estate was sold, a memorandum that the real estate described in the proceedings upon which the judgment was entered has been redeemed. Thereafter the owner shall hold such redeemed real estate subject to the same liens and in the same order of priority as they existed at the time of the sale thereof, excepting so far as the liens have been discharged or reduced by the application of the proceeds by the sheriff from the sale.
§ 8731 Regularity of proceedings under venditioni exponas.
Upon the return of the proceedings under a writ of venditioni exponas, the Superior Court may inquire into the regularity of the proceedings thereunder, and either approve the sale or set it aside.
§ 8732 No proceedings unless tax is a lien upon property; construction of term "Superior Court.''
(a) No proceedings shall be brought under this subchapter unless the tax or assessment sought to be collected hereunder shall at the time of the filing of the praecipe in the office of the prothonotary be and constitute a lien upon the property against which the tax or assessment was assessed or laid.
(b) Whenever the Superior Court is mentioned in this subchapter, the same shall be held to embrace the Judges or any Judge thereof, and any act required or authorized to be done under this subchapter may be done by the Superior Court or any Judge thereof in vacation thereof, as well as in term time.
§ 8733 Fees and costs.
(a) The fees and costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this subchapter, where not otherwise provided for, shall be as follows:
The following fees shall be charged by the prothonotary:
Filing praecipe $ 1.10
Issuing monition and copy 2.75
Issuing alias or pluries, monition and copy 2.75
Writ of venditioni exponas 2.25
Filing any petition in Superior Court under this subchapter 1.00
Costs of paying money into Superior Court 1.00
Costs of paying money out of Superior Court for each check drawn 1.00
The following fees shall be charged by the Sheriff:
Posting monition or copy thereof .75
Posting each alias or pluries, monition or copy thereof .75
The following fee shall be charged by the tax collecting authority for Kent County:
For preparing description of liened property 25.00
The following fee shall be charged by the tax collecting authority for Sussex County:
For preparing description of liened property 25.00
All other charges not covered by this section shall be the same as are provided by law.
(b) In addition to the fees set forth above, the costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this subchapter which are brought in Sussex County may include all reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the Court, incurred by the County in connection with each respective proceeding.
(c) This section shall not apply to Kent County. The county government of Kent County may provide by ordinance for fees and costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this subchapter.
(d) County Council of New Castle County may provide by ordinance for fees and costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this chapter.
Code 1935, § 1381A; 46 Del. Laws, c. 133, §1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8732; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25I; 60 Del. Laws, c. 675, § 7; 61 Del. Laws, c. 391, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 2;69 Del. Laws, c. 278, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 115, 123; 72 Del. Laws, c. 138, § 1.;